Make Sure Your Horses Stay Healthy & Happy
Horses can be a fun and useful addition to your farm, as they can help you complete projects around the grounds and provide some much-needed leisure time with horseback rides. But to stay strong and healthy, your horses need appropriate care, especially when the weather becomes hot. In Florida, we experience warm weather year-round, with the summers being especially hot and humid. This heat can be dangerous for your horses, potentially leading to dehydration, lethargy, and illness. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure your horses have a living environment that is equipped to help them deal with the heat. Follow our tips to help you provide the best care for your horses.
Turn Your Horses Out During Cooler Times of the Day
Your horses need to have time outside their stalls to graze and stretch their legs. The midday hours are the hottest time of day during the summer, so try choosing a time in the early morning or late evening or choose to turn them out overnight when the sun is completely down. This will ensure your horses are protected in their stalls during the hottest part of the day but still have time outside the stable. Your horses will appreciate this small act of care to help keep them more comfortable.
Make Sure Your Horses Have Ample Access to Shade
If your horses live outside full-time or you have no option but to turn them out during the day, you must be sure they have access to areas that provide some relief from the direct sunlight. A run-in shed is the best way to create some shade for your horses, sheltering them from the sun and allowing them some time to cool off. Trees can also provide shade for your horses, but as the sun moves throughout the day, so will the shade. If trees are the only source of shade, be sure they provide it at all hours of the day, no matter where the sun is in the sky. Otherwise, you should invest in a small structure to create shade.
Provide Plenty of Air Flow
Even though a barn will keep your horses out of direct sunlight, there is not much airflow inside these structures. A lack of ventilation can create a sweltering and uncomfortable environment for your horses, even without the heat of the sun. Installing fans can help keep your horses cooler by providing them with adequate airflow. A fan ensures the air inside the barn keeps circulating rather than getting stagnant. Just be sure that you install the fans out of reach of the horses. You don’t want them getting ahold of any cords or electrical outlets.
Ensure Your Horses Have Fresh Water
Your horses need plenty of cool, fresh water to keep them hydrated and cool during the hot summer months. This is especially true when the animals are outside grazing. A bucket of water hanging on a fence post won’t stay cold for long and will quickly become warm and unappealing to your horses. Not to mention that if left long enough, water left outside will become stagnant and potentially unhealthy. Make sure you are providing your horses with a source of fresh, cool water. This means replenishing their water supply regularly. If you feel like your horse isn’t drinking enough during the summer months, you can try encouraging them to drink by putting out a salt block or misting their hay with salt water.
Use Electrolyte Supplements
If it is hot enough that your horse is sweating a great deal, you want to ensure they have a way to replenish the electrolytes they’re losing. Electrolytes are vital for maintaining proper bodily functions, like producing energy and contracting muscles. To help your horses maintain healthy electrolyte levels, consider integrating an electrolyte supplement into your horses’ diet during the summer months or put out water that is laced with electrolytes. This will ensure your horses’ electrolyte levels stay properly balanced, even during the hottest temperatures. Just be sure you provide your horses with plenty of fresh water in addition to the electrolytes, as too many can be harmful without proper hydration.
Lighten Their Workload
Many people use their horses to complete tasks around their farm or train them to compete in tournaments. While regular exercise is vital for the health of your horses, you want to be sure you don’t overwork them during the summer. Be sure to lighten their workload when temperatures get high or spread the work out over a couple of shorter sessions, so they aren’t forced to exert themselves for hours at a time. This is even more important on days where the humidity is also high, as this can cause further difficulties, including trouble breathing.
Maintain a Consistent Schedule
It’s essential to try and maintain a consistent schedule for your horses, so they can get in a routine of being outside at the same time. Try to schedule their work or training hours for the same time every day. It’s usually best to do this in the early morning or the late evening, so as to avoid the hottest portion of the day. Drastically changing the schedule of your horse’s activities every day can be an invitation for illness, including colic. Help them stay healthy with a consistent schedule.
Protect Them from Sunburn
Just like humans, horses are susceptible to sunburn when they’re outside for long periods on a sunny day. Horses that are all white are the most at risk for sunburn, but those with white socks, blazes, pink noses, or hairless patches from previous injuries are also at risk. You can help protect your horses by applying sunscreen to any areas that are particularly vulnerable, like any bald patches. However, if your horse will be outside for many hours, you’ll have to reapply. Another way to protect them is to ensure they have a refuge from the sunlight. You can create this by hanging fly scrims over any open areas outside the barn, which will allow them to get some much-needed protection and rest from the harsh summer sun.
Clip the Hair of Horses with Longer Coats
Horses with regular coats will be fine, even in the summer weather, as the small amount of hair on their bodies can actually help to protect them from the sun. However, horses with particularly long or thick coats will likely need a trim to help them stay cool. A longer or thicker coat can hold heat, making summer an incredibly uncomfortable and possibly dangerous time for these horses. It will make it more difficult for the horse to cool down, putting them at risk for developing heat-related illnesses. Do your horses a favor and give them a good clipping if they have long coats.
Consider Installing a Mosquito & Fly Misting System
The summer brings more than just heat and humidity. It also brings the prevalence of pesky insects like mosquitos, bees, and flies. All of these pests can be harmful to your horses, not only making them uncomfortable but also putting their health at risk. You can combat the mosquito and fly problem at your stables by installing a misting system that automatically sprays the area to eliminate all mosquitos as well as other buzzing and biting insects. Your horses will live a happier and healthier life when you help protect them from annoying insect pests.
Platinum Mosquito Protection Installs Fly & Mosquito Misting Systems
At Platinum Mosquito Protection, we are here to help you combat the invasion of pesky mosquitos and flies. Our goal is to help you make your outdoor spaces more comfortable for both you and your four-legged animals. We can install equine misting systems around horse stalls as well as small turn out areas, so your horses can be protected from mosquitos and other insects. Our misting systems are people and animal-friendly and provide an effective method of mosquito and fly control. Once the system is installed, all you have to worry about is an occasional refill of insecticide, which our team can do for you. Otherwise, the system runs automatically to mist the area and eliminate mosquitos, flies, and other insects.
Contact Our Team Today!
As an experienced mosquito misting company in Broward County, FL, Platinum Mosquito Protection is the team to call to install your new system. We have nearly two decades of experience in the business and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to every installation we complete. You can feel confident your property will be more comfortable, and your animals will be protected from the pesky activities of mosquitos, flies, and other annoying and potentially harmful insects. Our team can help you determine the best way to implement a misting system at your property, whether that’s inside your stables or around your corral. Please reach out to us today to discuss your needs and schedule a consultation.